For a long time, I very much wanted to be cool, just like everyone else.
I was not successful.
When I was a waitress, for example, I looked at all of the other waitresses who were so young and so cute (by the time I quit I’d reached the advanced waitressing age of twenty-six), and even though I liked my job and I was good at it, too, when I compared myself with them I felt completely inadequate.
Then, a few years later—it must have been around the time after I graduated college when I decided I didn’t need friends anymore—I realized I wasn’t so bad after all.
I didn’t even look that bad.
I was—in my own way—kind of cute. And I was smarter than them, anyway, and much more interesting.
The problem wasn’t me, and hadn’t been all along.
The problem was that I was comparing myself to the wrong people.
And so, suddenly, unexpectedly, and almost all at once, I made a decision:
I decided that I would be proud of being a dork.
I decided that I didn’t need anyone else’s approval but my own.
I became confident.
After that, somehow, without even trying, I was suddenly much, much less of a dork than before. And these days, I’m not really one at all.
I just pretend to be.
I even know how to dress.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not cool, either. I’m still way too passionate and excitable and I’m even sillier now than I used to be. True dorks, though, don’t really like themselves. Or, if they do, they don’t like to admit it.
They try to be someone else.
And I don’t do that anymore. Not often, anyway. I’m not embarrassed when I come underdressed to a nightclub or overdressed to a party. I say stupid things and admit when I don’t know something. I ask questions. I say something controversial in order to get an argument started when the conversation has become a little dull.
I’m okay with being wrong, or less admired.
So you see: Maybe I’m not a dork, and maybe I am.
Maybe I can even be both.
Maybe, whenever I want to, I can just change the definition.
It’s spirituality for the rest of us.
Eckhart Tolle is awesome. So are Byron Katie and all those Buddhist monks we hear about. Why, then, doesn’t their advice immediately solve all our most pressing spiritual problems?
Why are their results so difficult to replicate?
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Here, stories about the ones that actually work. (In some posts, I rate the practices on a scale of 1-10, too. Sort of like county fair pumpkins, but more spiritual.)
These Are the Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
Kids, here it is. Have at it.
- Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
- All Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.
Don’t read this section. It’s nonsense, mostly.
- My Mostly Ridiculous Self-Improvement Journal
- 150 Life Hacks for Getting Suddenly Awesome
- Suddenly Awesome Miscellany (And, Let’s Be Real: Book Promos)